Is a Career in Catering for You? A Closer Look at Recruitment in the Catering Industry

One third of people who work in the catering industry do it because they’re passionate about food. But there's more that makes this industry so attractive to work in?


Jude Catering. Photo: CIDSE / flickr.

Statistics show that one third of people who work in the catering industry do it because they’re passionate about food. But what makes this industry an attractive one to work in, and what is recruitment currently like in the sector?

We’ve teamed up with the commissioner’s quay Inn, a modern country pub who have given us an insight into how you can get a career in the catering industry started.


Catering – Why it's such an attractive sector to work in


For many, catering is an ideal sector to find a job in. It can bring flexible working hours, job security, and an attractive salary.

The catering industry is one that’s constantly thriving, despite any political or economic turmoil. In fact, 61% of catering professionals in the UK found no change in footfall since Britain’s big decision to leave the EU.

IBISWorld, specialists in business information and market research, found that the catering market experiences an annual growth of 1% between 2013 and 2018, and currently has a workforce of over 28,000.

According to the British Hospitality Association (BHA), the market was predicted to continue growing at an annual rate of 1.9% until 2020.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused some issues for the sector, although thankfully, establishments have been reopening. The BHA report determined that the sector was labor-intensive rather than capital-intensive, meaning it relies on its staff to operate effectively.

In spite of the fact that some shifts involve working long hours, the flexibility of shifts can be beneficial for some people. For example, shifts can often be swapped to meet personal errands and people can often choose between day and evening shifts.

Max Moran, a freelance chef from Derby, said: “I enjoy my flexible career as a freelance chef, the money is good and the ability to pick where and when you work really suits my lifestyle.”


Entry and opportunities in the catering industry


The catering industry contains a lot of entry routes and isn’t restricted to just a few. This is partly why the catering industry is seen to be an attractive option to many people looking to get their foot in the door.

Many of the traditional routes into the catering industry are still apparent, such as progressing from table waiting to chef roles, but there are new ways to get in the sector now too. Casual Dining Group, for example, partnered with Remit Training in 2016 to deliver apprenticeships to its restaurants, focusing on servers, chefs and managerial positions.

In April 2018, Lake District Hotels, a hotel group in Cumbria, launched a ‘Hotel Academy’ to train aspiring chefs and practice fine dining. This academy includes a one-year programme with guaranteed employment and accredited qualifications.

Those aren’t standalone exceptions either, people are realizing the potential in the catering industry. It’s clear to see that more is being invested in talented young people who have an interest in progressing in the market.

Even at college level there are now plenty of courses available for students who want to study catering-related courses at college. Often, students can showcase their skills to the public with dining school restaurants, giving them a taste of what catering work is truly like.

As you can see, the catering industry is one that’s here to stay. It offers a strong sense of job security for those who are part of it, due to its steady market growth and increase in average salary.

New opportunities and investments in young people mean that the sector is becoming more accessible for those who may not have considered this type of role until now.

Jack Johnson is a WWS contributor as well as a copywriter and Outreach Executive at Mediaworks. He graduated from Northumbria University and specializes in digital innovation.